Saturday, February 14, 2009

Daily Digest February 14, 2009


The DAILY DIGEST: INFORMATION and OPINION from ST. JOHN'S to VICTORIA.
ARCHIVED at http://cdndailydigest.blogspot.com/

EDITORIAL PAGEs

ST.JOHN'S TELEGRAM -
Between a rock and a hard place
http://www.thetelegram.com/index.cfm?sid=222216&sc=80

CAPE BRETON POST -
Electronic eyes a gut decision
http://www.capebretonpost.com/index.cfm?sid=222089&sc=151

MONTREAL GAZETTE -
Families are key to solving dropout crisis
http://www.montrealgazette.com/opinion/editorials/Families+solving+dropout+crisis/1289288/story.html

OTTAWA CITIZEN -
The soldiers get it
  http://www.ottawacitizen.com/opinion/soldiers/1289556/story.html
 
Leadership qualities
http://www.ottawacitizen.com/opinion/Leadership+qualities/1289557/story.html

Giving voice to victims
http://www.ottawacitizen.com/opinion/Giving+voice+victims/1284207/story.html

KINGSTON WHIG STANDARD-

Queen's botches racism file
http://www.thewhig.com/ArticleDisplay.aspx?e=1435807

TORONTO STAR -
Let Canada judge Khadr
http://www.thestar.com/Opinion/article/587520

GLOBE & MAIL -
Freestyle spirit of excellenceComment
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20090214.weolympics14/BNStory/specialComment/home

Governor-General Michaëlle Jean needs to do some studying
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20090214.weGeograph14/BNStory/specialComment/home

Goals to be clarified
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20090214.weOilsands14/BNStory/specialComment/home

NATIONAL POST -
Erasing history to please the separatists
http://network.nationalpost.com/np/blogs/fullcomment/archive/2009/02/14/national-post-editorial-board-erasing-history-to-please-the-separatists.aspx

ST. CATHARINES STANDARD -
Blue collar fades from job market
http://www.stcatharinesstandard.ca/ArticleDisplay.aspx?e=1436323

Unemployed still need more assistance
http://www.stcatharinesstandard.ca/ArticleDisplay.aspx?e=1436344

SUDBURY STAR -
Ottawa must catch up on fuel standards
http://www.thesudburystar.com/ArticleDisplay.aspx?e=1436413

WINNIPEG SUN -
Clarify rules, don't ban Tasers
http://www.winnipegsun.com/comment/editorial/2009/02/14/8389506-sun.html

CALGARY HERALD -
Ethical leadership on the oilsands desperately needed
http://www2.canada.com/calgaryherald/news/theeditorialpage/story.html?id=2b9ad910-91a5-45a1-8c35-b49177908b80

Praying to the wrong saint?
http://www2.canada.com/calgaryherald/news/theeditorialpage/story.html?id=8c238cba-f0ee-4cbc-8d63-9a5b5be0652c

RED DEER ADVOCATE -
Leaders too willing to sit on sidelines 
http://www.albertalocalnews.com/reddeeradvocate/opinion/Leaders_too_willing_to_sit_on_sidelines.html

PRINCE GEORGE CITIZEN -
Fire one up for the Gipper
http://www.princegeorgecitizen.com/20090213175793/opinion/editorials/fire-one-up-for-the-gipper.html

VICTORIA TIMES-COLONIST -
How we can fix native housing
http://www2.canada.com/victoriatimescolonist/news/comment/story.html?id=c21cf78f-9c32-46af-b383-c958bf2f85a5


ISSUES

AFGHANISTAN -
'US drone' in fatal Pakistan raid
http://www.longwarjournal.org/archives/2009/02/us_predator_strike_i.php

Afghan, U.S. military agree on further coordination to avoid civilian casualties
Afghan, U.S. military agree on further coordination to avoid civilian casualties


Afghan Army anxious for new Canadian equipmen
http://cnews.canoe.ca/CNEWS/War_Terror/2009/02/13/8385686-cp.html


CANADIAN FORCES -
Afghan reservists lose pay as contracts expire
http://www.ottawacitizen.com/news/Afghan+reservists+lose+contracts+expire/1288137/story.html


CANUSA/USACAN -
Canada is wary of U.S.
http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2009/feb/11/canada-is-wary-of-us/

U.S. SENATORS TAKE HARD LINE ON LUMBER
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/LAC.20090214.RLUMBER14/TPStory/Business

US Senators Misinformed says Canadian Lumber Trade Alliance
http://www.newswire.ca/en/releases/archive/February2009/13/c8585.html

Coalition for Fair Lumber Imports Welcomes Legislation
http://www.marketwatch.com/news/story/coalition-fair-lumber-imports-welcomes/story.aspx?guid={0B7B84C6-BA4A-4587-A132-0688375037B2}&dist=msr_1

The Americanization of Canada's Competition Act
http://business.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20090210.wlawmain0210/BNStory/robLawPage/home

Canada should learn from U.S. experience before adopting new antitrust laws
http://business.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20090210.wfacey_lawpage0211/BNStory/robLawPage/home

When hot meets not
Harper likely hoping Obama's visit will buff up his own image
http://thechronicleherald.ca/Opinion/1106392.html

Two years' work necessary for North American climate accord: Minister
http://www.nationalpost.com/todays_paper/story.html?id=1288656


ECONOMIC AFFAIRS -
Who will watch over this feverish spending?
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20090214.wcomurphy14/BNStory/specialComment/home

What's next?
Three views on economic growth, and why they all might be wrong
http://business.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20090213.wrcover14/BNStory/Business/home

CPP loses but still outperforms markets
http://business.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20090213.wcppresults0213/BNStory/SpecialEvents2/home

Report: GM considering Chapter 11 filing, new company
http://business.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20090214.wrgm0214/BNStory/Business/home


FOREIGN AFFAIRS -
G7 targets spectre of economic nationalism
http://business.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20090213.wrgseven14/BNStory/Business/home

Obama's men in Afghanistan
Misconceptions in the new administration could set back progress in the fight against the opium economy
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20090213.wcoessay0214/BNStory/specialComment/home


POLITICS IN THE PROVINCES -
Money flows to 289 Ontario building projects
http://www.torontosun.com/news/canada/2009/02/14/8390046-sun.html


FEDERAL POLITICS -
How Harper can come back in Quebec
http://www.nationalpost.com/todays_paper/story.html?id=1288742


PRESSURE POINTS -
How to erase your carbon footprint
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20090205.wIncDisc0211/BNStory/incubator/home

A 'gross' distortion, The hockey-stick graph,
http://www.nationalpost.com/todays_paper/story.html?id=1288662

Green policy arsonists
http://www.nationalpost.com/todays_paper/story.html?id=1288663

But under oath North faults Mann too
http://www.nationalpost.com/todays_paper/story.html?id=1288664


OPINION AND INFORMATION -
Canada's resilience is invisible only to Canadians
http://network.nationalpost.com/np/blogs/fullcomment/archive/2009/02/14/conrad-black-canada-s-resilience-is-invisible-only-to-canadians.aspx


INFOS -
Ignatieff vient courtiser le Québec
http://www.cyberpresse.ca/actualites/quebec-canada/politique-canadienne/200902/13/01-827256-ignatieff-vient-courtiser-le-quebec.php

Brian Mulroney: «Ce sont les relations personnelles qui priment»
http://www.cyberpresse.ca/dossiers/obama-a-ottawa/200902/14/01-827333-brian-mulroney-ce-sont-les-relations-personnelles-qui-priment.php

Harper: la bataille des Plaines, c'est du passé
http://www.cyberpresse.ca/actualites/quebec-canada/politique-canadienne/200902/13/01-827235-harper-la-bataille-des-plaines-cest-du-passe.php

Ottawa veut simplifier le processus
http://www.radio-canada.ca/nouvelles/Politique/2009/02/13/002-Infras-Ottawa-impacts.shtml

Le système carcéral ignore toujours les plaintes des détenus
http://info.branchez-vous.com/Nationales/090213/N0213216AU.html


BELOW(30)(30)(30)(30)(30)30)(30)(30)(30)(30)(30)30)(30)(30)(30)(30)(30)30)(30)(30)(30)(30)(30)(30)(30)(30)30)(30)(30)(30)(30)

From: Raymond Denson
Subject: 9/11 and all that

Dear Joe,
I am delighted with the penetrating observations of Brad Thomson and Joseph on the events of 9/11.
In a country with a supposedly "free press" and scores of magazines and newspapers, the only place where one can print the truth about the "inside job" is in Hueglin's Digest. Apart from members of the Canadian Action Party, there is not a single one of our spineless politicians who dares to complain about this de facto censorship. The forces which control our media are just as nameless and obscure as the forces which produced 9/11. All of them should be exposed and neutralized.           Raymond Denson

===================================
From: Ray Strachan.
Subject: Interesting article in Feb 13 issue DD

DD
An article under the heading "Economic Affairs" states
"CANWEST CREAKS UNDER DEBT LOAD"MAY SEEK PROTECTION".

All you have to do is look up the history of CANWEST GLOBAL in Canada. You can
start in 1974. Received license to operate a TV Station in Winnipeg. They have
gone on to own probably, most of the Newspapers In Canada,whose Editors it is
of public record are well scripted on what they can write about.Global
TV,Radio Stations ac ross Canada. TV etc in New Zealand, Austrailia,Great
Britain, Turkey, South East Asia. In 2007 they entered into a deal with
GOLDMAN SACHS to but ALLIANCE ATLANTIS.  SPORTS TEAMS etc. I do not want to
hear of one cent of my Canadian tax money going to The Asper Family -Goldman
Sachs businesses. It would remind me too  much of when Mulroney was Prime
Minister, that THE BRONFMAN FAMILY went to Revenue Canada and told them they
were taking 3 Billion Dollars out of Canada to The United States TAX FREE. 
And that is what they did.   If they had been made to pay the Income Tax, like
I am, off my pension cheques, THEY SHOULD HAVE PAID SEVEN HUNDRED MILLION IN
TAX.They paid nothing,fine upstanding family that they were,  spawn of
bootleggers. How much did they cost this country with their BOOZE SALES,in The
Court Syetem, Medical System,Family Breakup,Traffic deaths,  Child Poverty etc
etc etc? Nobody will ever know will they? The Bronfman case was challenged in
court by a Small Businessman in Winnipeg,  it went all the way to the supreme
Court. Guess who Won?

Ray Strachan.

===================================
Subject: RE: Daily Digest February 13, 2009
From: "Efstratios Psarianos"

Women's real oppressors are those who say abortion doesn't hurt them
http://www..canada.com/calgaryherald/news/theeditorialpage/story.html?id=baaa1ad9-23ee-423c-91a5-402065d4864d
Waaaay back in 1995, I had a couple of chats with a fellow from a group called the Family Somethingorother. The group was an anti-abortion one, but the main thing that came out of our conversations was that the fellow said that in his experience 'abortion on demand' often worked out to 'abotion at the drop of a hat' (my words here). Ladies in a fragile state of mind, of which many were just teenagers, would told by doctors, counsellors, and such that abortion was a legal and of little medical consequence. This would soothe ladies' immediate anxieties, but many thereafter were haunted by a sense of guilt that led to all sorts of emotional problems.
 
The fellow said that while he was himself against abortion, he felt that most of us would agree that women should have to compulsory, free, independent counselling that'll warn them of potential guilt, depression, etc., so that if they go through with abortion at least they'll know what they'll be going through if they get depressed.
 
Just to be clear: for practical and logical reasons, I believe that a woman's choice to abort should be legal. But I'm also for INFORMED consent. In this case, if counsellors independent of hospitals and clinics (so unbiased: neither "you'll burn in hell" nor "if the government says it's legal, then it's OK") could be made available to counsel women (and men, for that matter) based on a government-designed and -approved curricullum, I feel that this idea should at least be looked into.
 
CANUSA/USACAN -
Obama Fends Off Neighbor-Lady's Advances
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/giles-slade/obama-fends-off-neighbor_b_166235.html
From the article: "This is an important diplomatic lesson that Canada had better understand. America's Canadian relationship is vitally important, but Canada's current Prime Minister needs to comprehend that America holds the best cards and will probably agree to very little until Canada's government stabilizes and America's economy is on more solid ground."
 
"But BAM .. I lOVES ya, I tells ya".
 
An important diplo lesson that we had better understand? I think we've already caught on to what the US is all about, dear Sir, hahahaha ... I mean really, what a jackass. Did he even THINK as he was typing away that Canada's government isn't run by yokels? But thanks to the typist for his condescending to 'splain his point of view.
 
Plus, in terms of Canada's government become more stable: seems to me that the American one is shakier than ours right now. This is typical during Presidential transitions, since most appointees named by a previous President resign, and a new batch gets appointed, once a new President takes office. This involves MUCH more than what for us is a cabinet change: in the US Executive, THOUSANDS of people get like this and major appointments (how many?) must be approved by the US Senate, which is NOT a walk in the park. Plus, what with four of Obama's major nominees for appointment having withdrawn their names over various reasons, many of which wouldn't be issues here in Canada (income-tax information is confidential at all time here, I believe), and the US Executive can be legitimately said to be in flux right now.
 
As an aside, now that Obama's image is taking on a less of a messianic, "Let my people GO!" kind of cast (Exodus has begun, America's Sons of Israel's God have 40 years of wandering in the wilderness to long forward to (metaphorically speaking), and a host of laws to draw up. With luck, they won't enact too many a la Deuteronomy and Leviticus ("Thou shalt subsidize thine pork industry and export all of its production to heathen lands").
 
Canada Pension Plan Fund shrinks $8.5B in quarter: buying opportunities seen
http://ca.news.yahoo.com/s/capress/090213/national/canada_pension_plan
The wonder of modern finance: money can be made even from dead-cat bounces.
 
Home sales fall by 41 per cent
http://business.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20090213.whomesales0213/BNStory/Business/home
And to make things worse .. so have home BUYS!!!! Things are actually TWICE as bad as stated.
 
 Statement by economists Quebec
Twelve university Quebec doubt the effectiveness of a massive increase in public spending to revive the economy.
http://antistimulus.blogspot.com/
What the twelve economists (one of whom is a cousin of mine) are saying is that the "... using false consensus as a pretext, and (being) pressed by political considerations ... (Canada's and Quebec's governments) ... are unaware of the long-term consequences of their interventions." Also, "... massive-spending programs and increasing regulatory burdens brought forth by Canada's and Quebec's governments are in essence responses to organized econonomic interests".
 
Think I'll have a chat with with Cuz and Uncle about this.
 
Baby's gestures reflect family's wealth
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20090213.wlhands13/BNStory/specialScienceandHealth/home
Yeah, that rubbing thumb and forefinger on each other REALLY give sthem away, hahahahaha ...
 
Where you've been on Net not private, judge rules
http://www.nationalpost.com/news/story.html?id=1283120
Oh great, I can see it now ... "Greek Elvis", frequent denizen of DD whose writings have been frequently retranscribed on Free Dominion, revealed to be Prime Minister Stratos :-S
 
Might as well get used to my writing here being a career-limiting move, hahahaha. But worry not, folks ... I'm sticking around. I mean, I've gotten used to comforting the afflicted and afflicting the comfortable, hahahaha.
 
POLITICS IN THE PROVINCES -
B.C. announces more cops, Crown prosecutors to get gangs and guns off streets
http://ca.news.yahoo.com/s/capress/090213/national/gangs_and_guns
"Send more coooops!". The most memorable line of the Night of the Living Dead remake.
 
Sarkozy replies to letter from furious Quebec sovereigntists
http://www.cbc.ca/canada/montreal/story/2009/02/13/mtl-sarkozy-letter-0213.html
"Vive le Quebec libre de choisir de rester au Canada" (Hail Quebec, free to choose to stay within Canada).
 
At LAST a French President who speaks like a responsible one. My wife and my mother-in-law thinks he's a runt and rat, but hey ... they're self-declared Commies (European-style, to be precise, but still).
 
B.C. passes law to allow budget deficit
http://www.ctv.ca/servlet/ArticleNews/story/CTVNews/20090213/deficit_090213/20090213?hub=Canada
Sonofagun ... I was right in saying that passing no-deficit laws is dumb publicity stunt.
 
Liberals argue Harper's deep pockets leave B.C. shortchanged
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/LAC.20090213.BCDISPATCH13//TPStory/National
Where'd you THINK Stevie's gonna get stuff to fill those deep pockets with, fellas?
 
"Times are hard, thrills are cheaper, as your arms get shorter, your pockets get deeper". (A tip of the hat to Guns 'n' Roses for their song "Right Next Door to Hell").
 
Green leader working on comeback
http://www.vancouversun.com/news/Green+leader+working+comeback/1285310/story.html
Elizabeth May, suffering from the harshest political indignity: being forgotten, but not gone.
 
From the article: "For the record, Greens heartily disapprove of the Conservative government's Jan. 27 budget because it fails to augment mass transit funding or show sufficient commitment to the expansion of clean-energy alternatives."
 
"For the record ..."; sounds like the typist who wrote this article considers the Greens to already be on trial. Also, do I detect a hint of sarcasm? Something along the lines of "The house is burning down and the Harper Cabinet is putting NO effort into passing anti-smoke regulations" satire?
 
Layton needs to find next big idea
http://www..canada.com/windsorstar/news/editorial/story.html?id=3b656815-4bbf-4854-96fc-ceec6b4f3cc8
Bad writing, this. 'Next' implies that there was a first one. (I'm considering Universal Health Care to be a Saskatchewan CCF thing).
 
Liberals enjoy the Ignatieff effect
http://network.nationalpost.com/np/blogs/fullcomment/archive/2009/02/12/john-ivison-liberals-enjoy-the-ignatieff-effect.aspx
Waaaay back when, the Aryans who invaded India had this neat substance called soma. It made them feel out of this world and (in someone's words) "able to bestride the Universe".
 
(For that matter, the folks in Aldous Huxley's Brave New World also had soma ... it was perfect for getting Beta girls all pumped up to snag themselves some Alpha boys during the occasional orgies. Plus, it was even better than Centrifugal Bumble-Puppy (I'm not making this up!) when it came to keeping Deltas in line. As for Epsilon Semi-Morons ... well, they probably got even more spaced out while operating their elevators and such).
 
Hence this image of what this Ignatieff effects is having on Liberals: vacant looks in the huddled mass; arms stretched forth towards a stage where The Leader speaks; low-pitched cries for "Soma .. soma .. soma ...".
 
Poor dears, the Liberals DO deserve our sympathy. I mean, they've just been through SO much recently. Plus, any ex-PC who lived through the Joe Cluck years in the late 90s and early naughties would have to be totaal heartless if he were to feel no pity.
 
Recession gives Ignatieff a free ride
http://www.thestar.com/Canada/Columnist/article/586915
Presumably, The Red Star does NOT mean "Go straight to jail, do not pass Go".
 
Harper Hiding on Khadr File
http://pacificfreepress.com/news/1/3714-harper-hiding-on-khadr-file.html
Not on, but behind. Sloppy writing.

Ottawa fast-tracking infrastructure assessments as its moves on $1B in projects
http://ca.news.yahoo.com/s/capress/090213/national/infrastructure_funding
Always nice to know that the J.R. Gotrocks approach to things can always be called on: "What's your angle? ... Whose baby is that? ... I'll buy that".
 
(Fred Flintstone once replaced J.R. Gotrocks, an investment genius who had gotten bored and run away. Mr. Gotrocks had this foolproof flair for investing and making money, as alluded to above).

===================================
From: Real Gagne
Joe:
I've been a Conservative for half a century and I've never heard of the term "movement conservative."

However, _movement conservateur_ would sound natural in French. Maybe Manning had that in mind but got a bad translator.

Real
"Movement conservative" is a new expression for me too, but shat's being alluded to is that there's a socio-political movement movement that's conservative out there somewhere. I seems logical to presume that movement conservatives are self-aware of being conservatives and are willing to promote conservative thinking, values, policies, etc. Presumably, non-movement conservatives are ones who are conservatives but who don't act upon that.
 
That being said, "mouvement conservateur" means "(the, a) conservative movement", with movement meaning a political current or something like that.
 
The closest French equivalent to a "movement conservative" would be something like "un conservateur du mouvement", a conservative of the movement
 
And in both English and French, some wag or other would say that a conservative movement has to do with anal retention. (<-- Joke! Sorry, folks, I can't help myself. Check out my bona fides by looking at my Iggy-soma thing further up for anti-Liberal satire).
 
===================================
From: "Rebecca Gingrich"
Subject: movement conservative?

"Mark them well and leave them behind" ...
 
My mistake: movement conservatism is more about urinating on folks one doesn't agree with.
 
'Movement conservative' is probably a Manning bowel
movement?
 
Dammit, I'm CONFUSED again!

==================================
Differing standards for nominees and Senators
http://ensign.ftlcomm.com/editorials/LTE/hueglin/hueglinList/100/hueglin139/brazeau.html
Thursday
February 12, 2009
by: Joe Hueglin
Niagara Falls Ontario: Ih his great rush to fill the senate seats the Prime Minister appointed some interesting members to the Senate. Certainly one of the most interesting is a 34 year old aboriginal leader who distinguished himself as all but destroying the credibility of his organisation. Odd choice because had he chose to run as an MP his history and tainted past would make him ineligible for running as a Conservative.
One of the recently-appointed Senators from Quebec got a "Duuuuuuuh!" from folks who've met him. No names, but the signal received by those who know him is that the Senate isn't really a place to take too seriously. Sure, there are and have been men and women of substance who've been appointed to and have worked diligently within it. But when we see folks with (ahem) questionable abilities and qualifications (hockey players, etc.), you just can't take it entirely seriously.

===================================
From: alan heisey <hize@earthlink.net>
Subject: earthworm 09 2 8 plain text

Publisher is Alan Heisey, 38 Avoca Avenue, L.P.H #6, Toronto, ON, 
Canada, M4T 2B9
Phone 416 923 5381, <hize@earthlink.net> Emailed from Toronto.

Publisher comments

Company for Hueglin: new, right wing dance band emerges?

St. Paul's Conservative "Confidential": a successful pub nite; the 
disappeared president; the under strength executive committee; the 
ignored letter from a member (me); the philosophical difference twixt 
boards and councils....

Why I worry about the Afghanistan outcome, whenever

To be removed from this mailing list

Publisher comments

Company for Hueglin: new, right wing dance band emerges?
The Association of Principled Canadians (gulp!).

Our goal is to bring better government to Canada by influencing a 
majority of Members of Parliament to adopt our Principles and Policies.

In June of 2007,  a small group of conservatives met in Kingston  to 
discuss our disappointments and dissatisfactions with the Harper 
government.  We were concerned that the Harper government lost it's 
way and had diverged and deviated from what we felt was fundamental 
conservative   concepts, beliefs and ideas.  Some of us felt the need 
to find a new path to better government for our nation.
                 .        .        .
Thus, The Association of Principled Canadians.  Think of it as a 
"think-tank",  or may be just  a group of conservative activists and 
partisans  who are actively thinking of ways to influence the CPC 
towards more conservative governance.
                 .        .        .
You can get more information on TAPC from our website:  http://tapc.ca/
Or, you can email us at: info@tapc.ca

You are invited to attend a very special event intended for those of 
us who wish to participate in Canada's political process in an open, non- partisan,
and stimulating symposium.

The purpose of this one day meeting is to hear speakers, exchange 
ideas, and seek opinions on our current Federal Government's effectiveness both in
dealing with our country's challenges, and in representing our citizens'
best interests.
                 .        .        .

This is the first of what is hoped to be more opportunities in the 
future to raise awareness and expand discussions on the topics of how we are 
governed, and how improvements can be made by having citizens' voices heard in 
Ottawa.
                 .        .        .

"CITIZENS' FORUM FOR BETTER GOVERNMENT IN CANADA"
Saturday, April 18, 2009.  9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Hilton Garden Inn, Oakville/Mississauga
2774 South Sheridan Dr., west of Winston Churchill Blvd.
Guest speakers: Jonathan Kay and Gerry Nicholls
Roundtable discussions
Breakfast, Lunch and Coffee Break


Your reporter is delighted to think that within the present 
Conservative Party there emerges currently an apparently substantial 
right wing caucus, complete even with such a refined name as 
"Principled(!)"

I find the implied threat that they will hive off and form another 
conservative-type party if things don't go their way within the 
present government party, to be thoroughly dumb. But overlooking that 
detail, the idea that there could evolve a change-minded element 
within our present party to be a most wholesome development.  I will 
be sure to attend their April event and encourage others, centrist 
minded like myself, to be present in droves to assist the evolution of 
an evolutionary mechanism within our somewhat rigid party mentalities!

I think it a great shame that there is no formal, or even an informal 
regional structure within the CPC for the GTA and more specifically 
for the 23, all-losing, city ridings. There are, apparently, meetings 
of our eda presidents with the regional organizers, but nothing is 
ever published for us laity to chew over; nothing which suggests, for 
example, that there is a school of thought within those present 23 
presidents that the names and addresses and details of who these 
presidents, etc are might be shared within their august ranks!

Please may those good people resist the lure of the sirens like Joe 
Hueglin's pitifully fringed, formal political party, the progressive 
canadians, which always reminds me of Guy Lumbego and his Royal 
Canadians. As a continuing critic of the losing ways of our Toronto 
ridings I assure the "principled ones" that if they don't get too 
righteous there will always be room for them, also squawking nd 
kicking, in the ranks of the party forming the present national 
government!

Being generally averse to web sites I did open "the principles"' one 
and was entertained to see on their site how many overpowering , all 
apparently approved, in print and broadcast, media also have their own 
web sites, as if you don't get enough of them otherwise. Some of them 
have their own sites, but others get picked up by their news media 
employers' web sites, listing, Diane Francis, David Frum, Robert 
Fulford, Lorrie Goldstein, Lorne Gunter, Richard Gwyn, Chantal Hebert, 
George Jonas, Jonathan Kay, Barbara Kay, Rex Murphy, Jeffrey Simpson, 
William Watson, Margaret Wente, Libertarian Party, Howard Galganov, CD 
Howe Institute, The Fraser Institute, The National Citizens Coalition.

I hope this embryo group will exploit Joe Hueglin's daily email digest 
to more than 4,000 so that those of us lacking interest in political 
web sites may have views flow right into our email tray!

St. Paul's Conservative "Confidential": a successful pub nite; the 
disappeared president; the under strength executive committee; the 
ignored letter from a member (me); the philosophical difference twixt 
boards and councils....

As a near four-year resident of St. Paul's I feel a special, 
continuing responsibility to report here on the activities of the 
local association. Main reason is that the present board of directors 
is very hesitant to use email to inform their own membership of major 
and minor events of interest.

As a former member of their board I have always viewed that governing 
forum as more of a council, in the nature of a village council, that a 
truly corporate board, with all the secrecy with which formal boards 
are wont to operate. This puts me at odds, regretably, with the 
present board whose members were formally reminded at a recent meeting 
that their deliberations were confidential.

In corporate boards this means that the only information released to 
members, or shareholders, must come from the president. Viewing the 
St. Paul's board more as a village council means that I think the 
great majority of its deliberations are of interest to its general 
membership, and ideally to the general public of the electoral district.

The board's major contribution to the web site since the last 
election, about which they have published nothing, was notice of a 
delightful "subway series type pub nite". This was convened recently 
near Yonge and St. Clair, as a useful reminder that sheer 
socialization can be a good reason for becoming a member, if one knows 
about the events. The board chose not to charge admission, but since I 
would like to see a pub nite once each month at the same venue, I 
think they should put in a charge to cover direct expenses. I also 
favour name tags as one whose memory for names has faded with the 
decades.

Mystifying, however, is how I view the secrecy, to their general 
membership, regarding the move of our current association president to 
Ottawa since late last year, for a fulltime position in a political 
secretariat. I privately asked a member of the board at the pub nite 
what about the president's movement away and was told that he was 
apparently going to stay in the title until the next annual general 
meeting and election of officers, sometime in March!

Frankly, I think the general memberhip, not just the board of 
directors, should have been told of the change the day after it was 
finalized. I have always understood that a vice president was elected 
in part to serve when the president was not available. I would have 
thought the departing president would announce that the vice president 
would assume the responsibilities until the next general meeting

Our national association's very straitjacketed approach to  e.d.a. 
constitutions requires one president, a v-p, secretary, two other 
titles, and "not more than" three directors, with specific 
responsibilities for activities. Our executive committee has long 
operated with only two directors, also called vice presidents, and no 
director for membership, or for policy, or social program, positions 
vital for a strong association. Thus we will function for a near half 
year with only five of the seven possible executive members operational.

Our local board does not appear to have read item constituency 
association constitution para 7.8. "The board of directors, on the 
approval of two-thirds (2/3) of those present and voting, may appoint 
up to two (2) additional directors to the board of directors between 
annual general meetings.  The appointments shall be made at a meeting 
called for that purpose."
nor 7.9 "The board of directors, on the approval of two-thirds (2/3) 
of those present and voting, may remove a director who has missed four 
(4) consecutive regularly scheduled meetings of the board of directors 
without reasonable explanation; or whose conduct is judged improper or 
unbecoming, or likely to adversely affect the interest or reputation 
of the Association or the Party.  The removal may only occur at 
meeting called for that purpose."

It is well known that the present St. Paul's board does not enforce 
the requirement for regular attendance or removal from the board, so 
it would be well advised to consider the escape clause permitting it 
to add two additional directors, to a total of 32, also permitted by 
the constitution!

As at the two previous year ends I have been willing to serve on the 
board, if my views of how it should function were endorsed by me being 
elected. In both years I asked by letter permission to write to the 
general membership setting out my priorities. They being ignored, I 
emailed again on January 20th this year to the un-named officer who 
sent out the pub nite invitation asking for permission to send out 
such a letter.

I intend pursuing this 19-day-old request, since it could be clearer 
under what cicumstances a member of any Conservative district 
asociation might properly address a letter to his/her fellow 
members......

Why I worry about the Afghanistan outcome, whenever

It is clear that we Canadians are horrified by the attacks of the 
Taliban on school girls who want to get an education. I suspect that 
pattern of behaviour is enough to keep the Canadian public on side for 
as long as our various political parties want to stay the course.
I admit to thinking that without much more substantial participation 
of European and other nations we should leave when the Harper 
government wants us to leave and no delaying. The following posting 
somewhere by the leading American commentator  Patrick J. Buchanan on 
December 19, 2008 influences me no little!

Just two months after the twin towers fell, the armies of the Northern 
Alliance marched into Kabul. The Taliban fled.
The triumph was total in the "splendid little war" that had cost one 
U.S. casualty. Or so it seemed. Yet, last month, the war against the 
Taliban entered its eighth year, the second longest war in our 
history, and America and NATO have never been nearer to strategic 
defeat.
So critical is the situation that Defense Secretary Robert Gates, in 
Kandahar last week, promised rapid deployment, before any Taliban 
spring offensive, of two and perhaps three combat brigades of the 
20,000 troops requested by Gen. David McKiernan. The first 4,000, from 
the 10th Mountain, are expected in January.
With 34,000 U.S. soldiers already in country, half under NATO command, 
the 20,000 will increase U.S. forces there to 54,000, a 60 percent 
ratcheting up. Shades of LBJ, 1964-65. Afghanistan is going to be 
Obama's War. And upon its outcome will hang the fate of his 
presidency. Has he thought this through?
How do we win this war, if by winning we mean establishing a pro-
Western democratic government in control of the country that has the 
support of the people and loyalty of an Afghan army strong enough to 
defend the nation from a resurgent Taliban?
We are further from that goal going into 2009 than we were five years 
ago.
What are the long-term prospects for any such success?
Each year, the supply of opium out of Afghanistan, from which most of 
the world's heroin comes, sets a new record. Payoffs by narcotics 
traffickers are corrupting the government. The fanatically devout 
Taliban had eradicated the drug trade, but is now abetting the drug 
lords in return for money for weapons to kill the Americans.
Militarily, the Taliban forces are stronger than they have been since 
2001, moving out of the south and east and infesting half the country. 
They have sanctuaries in Pakistan and virtually ring Kabul.
U.S. air strikes have killed so many Afghan civilians that President 
Karzai, who controls little more than Kabul, has begun to condemn the 
U.S. attacks. Predator attacks on Taliban and al-Qaida in Pakistan 
have inflamed the population there.
And can pinprick air strikes win a war of this magnitude?
The supply line for our troops in Afghanistan, which runs from Karachi 
up to Peshawar through the Khyber Pass to Kabul, is now a perilous 
passage. Four times this month, U.S. transport depots in Pakistan have 
been attacked, with hundred of vehicles destroyed.
Before arriving in Kandahar, Gates spoke grimly of a "sustained 
commitment for some protracted period of time. How many years that is, 
and how many troops that is ... nobody knows."
Gen. McKiernan says it will be at least three or four years before the 
Afghan army and police can handle the Taliban.
But why does it take a dozen years to get an Afghan army up to where 
it can defend the people and regime against a Taliban return? Why do 
our Afghans seem less disposed to fight and die for democracy than the 
Taliban are to fight and die for theocracy? Does their God, Allah, 
command a deeper love and loyalty than our god, democracy?
McKiernan says the situation may get worse before it gets better. 
Gates compares Afghanistan to the Cold War. "(W)e are in many respects 
in an ideological conflict with violent extremists. ... The last 
ideological conflict we were in lasted about 45 years."
That would truly be, in Donald Rumsfeld's phrase, "a long, hard slog."
America, without debate, is about to invest blood and treasure, 
indefinitely, in a war to which no end seems remotely in sight, if the 
commanding general is talking about four years at least and the now-
and-future war minister is talking about four decades.
What is there to win in Afghanistan to justify doubling down our 
investment? If our vital interest is to deny a sanctuary there to al-
Qaida, do we have to build a new Afghanistan to accomplish that? Did 
not al-Qaida depart years ago for a new sanctuary in Pakistan?
What hope is there of creating in this tribal land a democracy 
committed to freedom, equality and human rights that Afghans have 
never known? What is the expectation that 54,000 or 75,000 U.S. troops 
can crush an insurgency that enjoys a privileged sanctuary to which it 
can return, to rest, recuperate and recruit for next year's offensive?
Of all the lands of the earth, Afghanistan has been among the least 
hospitable to foreigners who come to rule, or to teach them how they 
should rule themselves.
Would Dwight D. Eisenhower­who settled for the status quo ante in 
Korea, an armistice at the line of scrimmage­commit his country to 
such an open-ended war? Would Richard Nixon? Would Ronald Reagan?
Hard to believe. George W. Bush would. But did not America vote 
against Bush? Why is America getting seamless continuity when it voted 
for significant change?

P.S. I will now email "earthworm" as plain text for overloaded 
recipients - only two names on the list right now!

To be removed from this mailing list  You may unsubscribe at any time 
by clicking "Reply" and writing "unsubscribe" or "disconnect" or even 
"git" on the subject line of this note.  Next issue from Naples, 
FL.       cordially, hize.

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